Security footage captured the moment a tanker truck plowed into a South Carolina school bus sending 17 children on board to the hospital.
An investigation from the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) remained open in Gilbert, southwest of Columbia, following a vehicular accident between a tanker truck and a school bus transporting 43 students.
Security video from a nearby business captured the moment the bus, with children from Gilbert Middle and High School, had stopped at an intersection only to begin turning onto Pond Branch Road just the truck entered the frame.
Speaking with WIS-TV, eighth-grade passenger Hunter Redborn recounted part of the experience that sent 17 children and the school bus driver to the hospital.
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“Kids had blood on their faces. One girl said she couldn’t feel her legs,” he recounted of one particular student who reports indicated had only suffered a bruise to her hip. “Everyone was panicking but I was just trying to get everybody off the bus.”
The boys mother, Stephanie Farmer lauded her son and said, “I think Hunter is a hero. I really do because he helped all those kids off the bus. He’s a good boy.”
“I was just so scared,” she added of learning about the crash. “I just wanted to make sure my son was okay and all the other kids too but I was just upset.”
Fannie Witt, whose 12-year-old grandson was on board, shared her reaction living just down the road from where the crash occurred. She told WIS-TV, “I actually heard it. It was a loud boom.”
“I put some shoes on and went running down there and I when I got there they had already taken him off the bus,” she went on of the boy who reportedly suffered a broken finger and bruising. “He kept saying his rib was hurting and his head was hurting really badly. And he was crying. He said he doesn’t ever want to ride a school bus again.”
Lexington Medical Center spokesperson Jennifer Wilson confirmed that all of the patients were examined and released, a detail that Lexington County School District One superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait had noted with relief in her official statement.
“Our hearts go out to the students and their families and everyone involved. We are truly grateful that those seen at the hospital have been released,” she said. “Today, school administrators and counselors continue to check on the students. Additional school counselors were on standby if needed.”
Postlewait continued, “We want to express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to the first responders and Lexington Medical Center’s medical personnel for the care, concern and assistance provided yesterday. Their efforts helped ensure the safety and well-being of our students.”
The driver of the school bus was placed on administrative leave pending the findings of law enforcement and school district investigations. SCHP officials indicated it could take as much as a week and that criminal charges remained a possibility.
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